CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 4 . . . . September 26, 2014
MovŪ la mano=I Moved My Hand is a simple but profound picture book about the power a child has to create her own special world through movement, imagination, and magic. It is a dual language picture book, presented in English (translated by Elisa Amado). Moví la mano is especially delightful as it is an original Spanish poem by Argentine writer Jorge LujŠn, a welcome change from many dual language books that are translations into other languages from the original English text.
A young girl performs a dance in her living room while her parents watch her intently from the sofa. Her gentle movements create a dream world all her own. She begins by moving her hand and, in turn, finds a coconut which she then shakes to produce a lake. Her dance continues as she explores her universe, eventually returning to the welcoming arms of her doting parents while bringing one of her magical creations home.
LujŠnís sparse text is simple yet sophisticated enough to tell the story of this independent child in only a few words. His poem demonstrates how important it is to allow children the space to be creative and explore their compositions as it empowers and allows them to see the possibilities of creating their own futures, molding their dreams into reality. The mixed media illustrations by Mandana Sadat are just abstract enough to allow for interpretation by the reader, working with the poem and the reader to create a three point interpretation of the book as a whole. The black background of the illustrations makes the coloured sections pop, rather than rendering it dark and moody. As the girl creates more of her world through her dance, the pictures become brighter and more vibrant.
MovŪ la mano=I Moved My Hand would be a wonderful addition to any personal, school, or public library, and would be a treasured gift for a young person.
Jennifer Baetz is a Fine Arts Librarian in Saskatoon, SK.
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